Very few things astound me more than what happens when a person's recall button is pushed.
And this week, three UW staff members - receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty, offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto and strength and conditioning assistant Marques Tuiasosopo - were asked what they remembered about their trips as players to a Holiday Bowl (they're the only three active Huskies players or coaches to be a part of one).
First, Tuiasosopo - the former UW quarterbacking great.
For him, the opportunity came in 1999 as the Huskies met No. 7 Kansas State in the bowl game.
Sure, the outside stuff - visits to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, trips around the city of San Diego and the luncheons - was a treat, but the first thing that popped into Tuiasosopo's mind about the whole experience was a random game statistic.
"We didn’t win (lost 24-20)," Tuiasosopo said, "but we were the only team to score on them in the third quarter."
"Yeah, we talked about it (in the huddle) - 'Hey, we've got to score a touchdown on these guys.'"
It wasn't Tuiasosopo's first bowl-game rodeo - he went to an Aloha Bowl (1997), Oahu Bowl (1998) and Rose Bowl (2000) as well.
But the first one, he pointed out, is one you always remember, no matter who you are.
"It’s a fun thing to be going to a bowl game. You feel like you’ve done something," Tuiasosopo said. "These kids are fired up about it, and I’m going to let them experience it, because it’s their experience. If they ask me a question on what it’s like to go to a bowl game – and I’m one of many coaches on this staff that can tell them – it’s about the kids first. I don’t want to step in. I want them to have their own expectations."
Like Tuiasosopo, Dougherty was a quarterback, too, when he went to Missouri in 1997. Unlike Tuiasosopo, Dougherty did not see action in the 1997 Holiday Bowl - a 35-24 loss to Colorado State - since he was redshirting.
"I was just a young pup," said Dougherty, laughing. "I was just happy to be in a bowl game, and coming out west (as an Illinois native). I had never been out west before."
Like the Huskies did this season, Missouri ran off a late-season win streak to get to the Holiday Bowl, only to run into a hot team in Colorado State.
"They got after us," Dougherty said.
When this UW team was handed the trip itenerary, he immediately went over his past log from Missouri in his head to compare the two schedules.
"We did all the fun staff – the Sea World. And what makes this bowl game so special is the fact you’re in a great city as well," Dougherty said. "It’s fun as a player playing in this game."
Cozzetto was on the ASU staff in 2007 that lost to Texas, 52-34, in the Holiday Bowl.
From Friday practice:
* The team was back indoors at the Dempsey Center for its first full-pad practice since Apple Cup week. UW coach Steve Sarkisian mixed up a lot of the starters and backups to get the players plenty of repetitions.
* Safety Sean Parker (shoulder) was back in the no-contact red jersey, still waiting to be cleared. Also in red was fullback Zach Fogerson (shoulder).
* It was certainly a get-after-it type practice - so much, defensive tackle Chris Robinson and offensive guard Colin Porter got into a heated scrap during blocking drills.
* Curtis High star Rahmel Dockery was one of a sizable contingent of recruits in attendance for practice.